Cameos are truly glamorous cats, that appear in a variety of colours.  The most common being red and tortoiseshell, as well as the dilute versions, cream and blue cream.  Less common are the blue, Lilac and chocolate cameos, which have only recently been given recognition in the U.K. by the G.C.C.F.  Another variation in the cameo is the degree of colour showing on their coats, and a division is made into shaded cameos and tipped cameos.

The cameo coat is what gives these special cats their glamour.  It is basically a visually white coat that carries a degree of colour only on the tips of the hair.  The shaded cats have approx one third of their hair shaft coloured and the tipped cats approx. on eighth.  This feature has been achieved through careful breeding; selecting for the most even distribution of the correct degree of tipping and the whiteness of the undercoat.  Careful breeding has also minimised the amount of colour on the cameo face, which of course is in direct contrast to the smoke cats.  It is permissible for cameo cats to have some colour on their faces, but the less the better and the main colour should run from the top of the head, over the back and on their flanks, their legs feet and the top of their tail.  Their ear tufts, chest, frill, tummy and underside of their tail should appear white.  All cameo cats should have deep copper coloured round eyes.

In all other respects the cameo is assessed in the same way as for other Persians.  They have a medium to large body that is short and round, and with a broad chest.  Their heads are large and round with short ears nicely rounded at the tips.  Their ears should be positioned towards the sides of their head, so that they blend in with the general head shape and are well covered with hair.  The Persian nose should be very short, but not so short that it causes breathing problems or interferes with the tear ducts in their eyes; nor should it be positioned so that the top of the nose leather is higher than the lower line of the eye.  All cats need to have a good set of teeth, and these should be neatly arranged in a wide jaw, so that they meet correctly, and do not cause the cat discomfort.  It is sometimes necessary to arrange dental treatment for a cat in order to ensure they do not develop gum disease and lose their teeth.

Persian cats do not have the same musculature as some of the more active, short haired breeds.  Persians are very gentle and docile, and this reflects in their body muscle.   They do however have a good strong bone structure, which makes their legs feel quite thick and strong.

When breeding Cameo's it is impotant to know the agouti status of your breeding cat.  All cats have the Agouti gene, but they also have alleles for agouti or non-agouti.  Your Cameo could posess either of these alleles but to breed true Cameo they need to have the agouti allele.  This can easily be discovered by a simple DNA test.

All Persians cats need regular grooming in order to maintain their healthy, glamorous coats.  This is not an arduous task however, and ten minutes every day will make life much easier and more comfortable for the cat than if grooming sessions are spaced further apart.  Persians should not be adopted by those who are very busy and unable to maintain a consistent routine of care for them.  They give lots of affection to their owners, but do not demand attention in return.  They attach themselves to their environment, like to have toys to play with, a supply of food and water, and are then quite happy to be left for a few hours without becoming destructive.

Recent years have show us that DNA testing can play a valuable part in breeding programs.  Not only can certain health conditions be better managed in all breeds but of exciting value to the Cameo variety is the ablility to test for "True" breeding ability.   Historically breeders have not always mated Cameo x Cameo.  This has resulted in cats which look like a Cameo, but when mated to another Cameo will not produce a Cameo becasue their genotype is different from their phenotype.  We are working on a theory that will improve this, and we hope that in the process we will be able to produce more Shell Cameos.   If we can find enthusiastic breeders who would like to join in such a breeding programme we would be very pleased to hear from you.

We hope you will become an enthusiast of the cameo Persian, and join in the work of maintaining and developing this lovely breed.

Emilia 23 September 2018
Macy 28 May 2017
Wendy 05 June 2022
Teddy 2 May 2016
Holiday Romance 31 July 2015
Wizardson 16 July 2017